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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2007
     
    Last week and this one, but some fun this past weekend. A bunch of us got together in the poconos and basically drank/ate ourselves silly while playing a lot of Wii. My arm is seriously still sore from all the Tennis we played, but I only lost 1 game (out of like 50), so I must be pretty decent.

    As I'm sure some of you know, you can create all these little avatars for yourself to use in Wii sports. Generally, you make yourself, your friends, and then a bunch of celebrities. Some celebrities are easier than others (Dick Cheney is pretty easy, for instance) and I've become rather partial to one Mii that we created a while back: Kim Jong Il. It's hilarious, he looks just like he did in Team America. It also lead to my best line of the weekend, after winning something like 10 games in a row: "It's no so much me as it is Kim Jong Il. He's Good." Heh.

    I'm pretty sure no one here cares much about baseball, but the reason we were getting together this past weekend was to draft our Fantasy team for this year. I think I did pretty good, but time will tell. Baseball's hard because you can't just rely on having a good draft (you can in football, but baseball season's too long). You probably need to make a good trade at some point, and also be vigilent about picking people up off the waver wire. Fleh. I always start out strong and then fiddle out later... but I think I've got a legitimate chance this year, provided that my top pitchers' arms don't fall off or something.

    Super busy at work. Putting in a new project on Monday. It involves a lot of coordination, and my role in the project is much expanded from what it normally would be. I sometimes don't know what to do, so it could get a little dicey, but this is how you learn I guess:P We're definitely trying something different with this project all around too - we're using a more agile methodology, where we release early and update often. Basically, we choose what to do next based on feedback from the last release. Again, we've never done something like this before, so it's a little difficult to explain to people. We're putting something out that isn't going to be perfect, so everyone gets scared... but hopefully once we get past next week, I should be fine.

    And that's just one of my projects. I did a status report for my boss the other day and it was 3 pages long. I do have a team of developers helping me, but they've got their own additional responsibilities. And more stuff is coming this summer. Gah.

    As you can tell from the blog, I've been watching some Anime recently. Vandread is pretty good, and I'm really enjoying it. I think once I finish that I'm going to go for Read or Die. After that, I'm not sure, but I have about 20 good recommendations from that thread in the blog...

    In terms of books, I'm actually rereading Cryptonomicon. Again. This is my third time. Something must be wrong with me. I've read a 900 page book 3 times. I rarely reread books too. I can think of maybe 5 in my life, and all of them were around 300 pages or so. Anyway, I had started Charly Stross' Accelerando a while back, but never got through it. It's strange, because it touches on a lot of really fascinating subjects that I'm very interested in, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. It's what made me want to reread Cryptonomicon (i.e. I wanted to read something good). I'll probably finish it soon. On the non-fiction front, I've got two lined up: The Long Tail, and Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs. Both seem interesting.

    Lots of other stuff going on too, but I gotta go to bed. What's everyone eles up to? I hope you're all doing well! G'night.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2007
     
    Playing the Wii made my arm sore too. It's fun. I don't know about tennis but I bowl in Wii bowling the same way I bowl with a real bowling ball.

    Do you guys have any sort of pool going with your fantasy teams or is it just an exercise in statistics (which is good too)?

    I, too, have been busy. Your mention of watching anime has reminded me that my current Netflix rental has been sitting here not being watched for entirely too long. I blame my roommate. I must strike out on my own. He can go to Blockbuster. I have a TV tuner card in my computer that, up until a few days ago, properly received all the channels we get but now it's not being right and I don't blame it. I blame the cable company. The Internet kept going on and off yesterday and the day before too. Evil bastards. I like the Internet because it doesn't cause my allergies, which I apparently have, to act up.

    I have watched movies recently! The Constant Gardener was quite good. Syriana wasn't bad. I thought parts of it were really good while others were just deliberately unclear. Beerfest is funny. A friend and I drank just enough tonight to watch Doom which, if you expect garbage, well, you get it, but you get kinda entertained in the process too. I always thought the game could make for a really good suspense/horror thing, if done right, but video game movies never get 'done right' and probably shouldn't be done at all.

    A friend of mine in town from Ohio gave me two eyeball keychains. I've been positioning them on my hand so I can make a hand puppet with eyes and talking to people with it. These keychains are the best.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2007
     
    I saw Beerfest last weekend. My friend and I watched it with the correct amount of beer in our systems, which was "a lot." I don't know how it would be completely sober, but as it was, it was fun.

    Funny you should mention Cryptonomicon, tallman...I've been kind of itching to reread the Baroque Cycle, which I know, would be quite an undertaking, but I've been reading a lot lately, so it might not be bad.

    Speaking of anime, my buddy has started to get me into Cowboy Bebop, which I have really enjoyed so far...I like that it's anime, but not super over-the-top, like most anime (IMHO).

    I also just read "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It was excellent...very light-hearted an amusing fun. Gaiman is tied with Stephenson as my favorite author, I've decided. Neil and Neal...they're actually friends with each other, which seems pretty cool.

    Various new musicks out too...new VNV Nation album (not bad), new Amon Tobin (meh...not as cool as his older, jazzy stuff), new Clutch (not bad, better than the last one).

    Not much else going on though...same old stuff. I did take a couple of days off from work towards the end of the month...Wed, Thurs, Fri...nice 5 day weekend. Nothing planned, it'll just be nice to not be there for a few days.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2007
     
    Beerfest was fun. I saw that island movie those guys did a while back. It was ok. Neither movie is as good as Super Troopers. Which is bad, but funny.

    I actually kinda want to reread the Baroque Cycle again as well, though you are correct to note that it's quite an undertaking. I think I'll wait a few years so that it seems fresh again (incidentally, Cryptonomicon is still great, but I think I'm rereading it too soon).

    I'm actually looking forward to Scalzi's new "The Last Colony." Did I mention that Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades are both great, quick, scifi reads? Give them a shot if you're in the mood for some light military scifi. They're awesome. Also, by the same author, The Android's Dream (which is not about androids) is pretty good.

    Anyone see Grindhouse? I loved it (see blog).

    I'm trying to think, has there ever been a good video game movie? You'd think it would be a pretty good opportunity - most video games have good premises but no story, so it would be cool for an up and coming young writer/director to take on such a project and flesh it out. But no, they give them all to Ewe Boll (or however you spell his name).

    Holly crap, fireworks. What? Why

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2007
     
    Depends on what you mean by "good." I thought Silent Hill was good, but flawed. The first Mortal Kombat movie was amusing and sort of fun if I recall correctly. The new Final Fantasy movie was apparently great if you're a fan of Final Fantasy VII. I thought that Resident Evil was pretty cool, even if it was more of an action movie than horror.

    The problem with video game movies, I think, is almost the opposite of what you're suggesting, though. The problem with Silent Hill wasn't lack of story, it was too much story. You've got between 1.5 and 3 hours to tell a story that, in the game, may take anywhere from and hour to 100 hours to tell.
    Per game.

    The movie version of Silent Hill tries to combine the stories from 3 games into one movie. One of the games took me over 8 hours to beat.

    I think that there's also the problem of how to even make a successful video-game movie. On the one hand, you can't just tell the story of the game on screen, right? I mean, you, I assume, want to appeal to the gamers as well as a more general audience. Gamers have already played the game. So you alter it a bit to make it interesting. Alter it too much and you alienate the gamers (See: Super Mario Brothers, Mortal Kombat II, any of that dipshit Boll's movies).

    I'm wondering if maybe the best route might not be to pick a franchise like Metal Gear Solid and tell a side-story. There are big chunks of time that we have no idea what Snake has been doing- why not make a movie based on that? Another possibility would be to take a franchise like Castlevania, and make a movie about one of the Belmonts who hasn't been in a game yet. Pay enough tribute to the games to please the gamers, but make it accessible to people who haven't really played the games.

    *shrug*
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2007
     
    I used to mock video game movies relentlessly, but once I saw the Resident Evil movies, I had to admit they were actually pretty fun.

    I think: key to making a video movie that isn't trash is picking a game with a decent story, and also not changing too much, like Sam mentioned above (I still shudder when I think about the Super Mario Brothers movie...) The first point might explain why Doom:the Movie sank without a trace...
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2007
     
    I saw the first 40 minutes or so of Silent Hill. It seemed decent, but I didn't really understand what was going on. I pretty much agree with what you said about the general idea of a video game movie.

    But really, it all comes down to story and characters. If you don't have those, things get tough (not impossible, but tough). You'd think that action sequences would be easy, but I guess it's possible for them to be a little boring too. Sometimes actually doing stuff is a lot more interesting than watching someone do the same thing...

    I've actually never played Metal Gear Solid, but the espionage genre makes for good movies, I think...

    ~tallman